South Dakota Tennis Hall of
Hall of Famers
Induction Ceremony
Love Serving Tennis
Achievement Award
Photo Gallery
Fenn Cup
Site Sponsors












Jim Holwerda Bio

Two sports that require supreme athleticism for success are basketball and tennis. And a dominant name in those two sports in South Dakota for nearly 30 years starting in 1965 was Jim Holwerda.

Best known to state tennis players as SD Closed Tournament director for some 15 years, he also dominated whatever event he entered, starting in 1973. He holds the record for the most consecutive age 35 and over singles titles – 10 years straight, before losing to Jamie Breit (10 years younger in age). In 1973, while still living in Yankton as Yankton College basketball coach and athletic director, Brookings’ Lefty Johnson entered Jim in four events at the Closed, to test the grueling summer heat. He won the open singles, reached the semis of open doubles, and won the Jr. Vets singles and doubles. This meant playing the final day from 9 am on – with a 30 minute break for a shower at 6:15 pm – before winning the singles. "No doubt my best physical/ability accomplishment in SD tennis," said Jim.

A graduate of Lindsborg, Kansas high school, Jim played varsity tennis for four years and was state doubles champion and singles runner-up. He was recruited by Kansas State on a basketball scholarship, playing guard on the #1 ranked team in the country in 1958. He also played as high as #2 on the K-State tennis team, finishing second in the Big Eight Conference.

He and wife Lu were part of the leadership instrumental in Hillcrest Courts being built in Brookings, and they directed the facility for years, running a tennis shop, teaching tennis and organizing leagues. In the Northwestern Tennis Association in 1973, he was ranked #1 in both 35 singles and doubles (with Don Grebin).

Serving as athletic director at Brookings High 1973-1992, Jim also coached the girl’s basketball team to two straight state titles. Retiring in 1992 to Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas, he’s enjoying playing 4.5 team tennis. "I plan to play competitively for a few more years, but great fishing is competing for time," said Jim. "I thank South Dakota for all the great tennis memories that have contributed to my life."